You Can Be A "Stuckie"
Stuckie the Dog got trapped and mummified in a hollow log that eventually found its way to a museum. But we can learn from his example, especially during the sagging seasonal trough before 2015. Stuckie was never satisfied to simply sit, howling to friends about the weather or snapping photos of his meals. No! The dog was an explorer, and a narrow trunk cavity could not deter Stuckie from seeking whatever treasure might be at its end. You have it so much easier than Stuckie, with gas prices down and thousands of roadside attractions accessible (and easy to escape).
Embrace the spirit of Stuckie, and consider these destinations:
Wolf’s Museum of Mystery
An exorcist bathroom, an alien mortuary, Lizzie Borden’s boudoir, and a real Human Brain in Resin - all in one old house in St. Augustine. Though in Florida, this place is so anti-sunshine that at this time of year it’s open mostly after dark.
Meteorite Bounced Off a Housewife
The Hodges Meteorite may not be much to look at, but it made history when it fell on Alabama by bouncing off the hip of a housewife napping on her living room sofa. She survived, and was happy to send the space rock out of her house.
Tallahassee Automobile Museum
Don’t let the name fool you: this place is packed with relics that have nothing to do with cars, including a miniature electric chair, Abraham Lincoln’s hearse, and a vampire-killing kit. Among its cars is the Penguin’s Duckmobile.
Stoner Flashback Wormhole
Interstellar? No, a visit to the discombobulating 1970s place where-time-stands-still Mystery House at Big Mike’s Rock Shop, another attraction whose name completely fails to convey the depth and breadth of its quark, strangeness, and charm.
60,000-Foot-High Monument, and It’s Invisible
The University of California at Berkeley has a high-concept tribute to its tradition of political rabble-rousing: an officially marked invisible column of air, 60,000 feet high, forever free of political or corporate entanglements.
A classic roadside landmark, sought by photographers, celebrities, and those who just enjoy dining inside a woman's skirt. Mammy was built in 1939-40, saved by preservationists, brought back and sustained as a restaurant, weathering the shifting climate.
Spotted by Tipsters
The Elephant Was Really a Cliff: A note from Oliver K. cleared away some longstanding roadside confusion: the “Elephant Gas Station” (which only vaguely resembles an elephant) was actually built as a rocky seaside cliff.
Tim Hollis Shows His Stuff: Tipster Casaflamingo scheduled a stop at one of our research targets, the Tim Hollis Pop Culture Museum, where he received a tour from the owner (and author of many excellent roadside history books). You can enjoy the same personal service; the museum is in Tim Hollis’ house.
Oregon State Hospital Cremains Memorial: Over 3,000 cremated patients can now be visited in their artfully tarnishing cans at Oregon State Mental Hospital. Tipster Chris has a personal connection to the “Room of Forgotten Souls.” There's also a museum with artifacts from when the hospital was used as a film location for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Get Your Licks in Las Vegas: Tipster John F. initially thought the new Giant Licking Cat Head he spotted might be a chihuahua. But he instinctively knew what to do: take a photo of someone at the end of the giant feline tongue.
Welcome to Roswell Alien Art: Created by artist John Cheney, visited by tipster Jessica, this colorful roadside tableau sits at the UFO-friendly city’s southern approach and features a friendly lady with a pie and a horrified alien saucer pilot.
For more fun discoveries and updates from the road, head over to the Latest Tips.
While in the Neighborhood...
For many years on RoadsideAmerica.com, we've suggested "Nearby Offbeat Places" worth exploring. We recently tweaked the website to add thumbnail photos to make this popular feature more noticeable on story
pages [Try Random
]. Hope you like it!
Latest News on Roadside America
The cryptic Forevertron, a long admired steampunk scrap metal contraption, has amazingly vanished (for now), but there is hope that it will rematerialize just as unexpectedly [Update 2014-12-9: only the highway sculptures vanished -- the rest of the art park is still accessible]. Burt Reynolds insists he’s not broke, but nevertheless is selling off most of his stuff, likely dooming the return of the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum. Thanks to tipster Lynn T., who verified the return of Paisano Pete the giant roadrunner; Bob P., who confirmed the demise to the Second Largest Gator Ever Built; and Steve M., who provided photo proof that the 40-Foot-Tall Dancing Woman of San Francisco Bay still glows at night. Tanks but no tanks: the Tank Museum, which earlier this year said that it was moving to Ohio, now appears to be staying put in Virginia. Pinkie the Elephant has a new coat of pink and a custom hat on order. Shea's Route 66 Gas Station Museum, closed since last year when Shea died, is now for sale. Last Chance Joe, the gunslinging goofy giant prospector of Nevada, has been safely moved to a new home. Jesus has fallen off the mysterious Gospodor Monuments. And there’s still no known reason why a ghost hunter stabbed himself in the Villisca Ax Murder House, except that it is, you know, an Ax Murder House.
Keep pace with important attraction updates on the Roadside America Twitter feed.
Onward, little Stuckies!
The RoadsideAmerica.com Team